BMus (voice), MMus Hons (sacred music)
Chalium S. P. Poppy began his earliest musical training as a choir boy in the UK. While still a pupil, he was accepted to study organ at the Royal College of Organists in London. Chalium accepted the offer of a scholarship to study music at the Universtat fur Musik und darstellende in Vienna, culminating in a Masterstudium in Protestant Church Music with Honours.
His unique education and experience allows him to enjoy an extremely versatile career as a professional church musician, conductor, oratorio soloist, occasional operatic singer, music commentator, clinician, and teacher. He has performed as an oratorio soloist extensively throughout Europe and North America appearing alongside some of the world’s finest orchestras including the Fretwork Ensemble, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Musicians du Louvre, and Tafelmusik. He has worked with famed early music interpreters Marc Minkowski, Ton Koopman and Christopher Hogwood.
Following a successful career in Europe as a singer, Chalium relocated to North America. While in Canada, he appeared as a soloist with many of Canada’s leading choirs and orchestras including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to name a few, producing recordings with many of these ensembles. For two years he served as producer and host of his own weekly program on national radio, “Classic Examples”. He also founded his own orchestra, the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra, that, while under his leadership specialised in music of the Italian Baroque.
After meeting an marrying a New Zealander in 2009, Chalium relocated to Mount Maunganui where he works as a full-time musician. He has appeared as a guest soloist with the Tauranga Civic Choir, Hamilton’s Cantando and Civic Choirs, City of Dunedin Choir, Rotorua Civic Choir, the Bay of Island Singers, and Auckland’s Handel Consort and Quire, Viva Voce, Graduate Choir, The South Auckland Choral Society, as well as the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, The Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra, the Bay of Plenty Sinfonia, the Southern Symphonia of Dunedin, Opus Orchestra and NZBarok. He has performed in many New Zealand premieres of works by Handel, Rameau, Charpentier, and others. In 2011, Chalium recorded the bass solos in New Zealand’s first recordings of Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Easter Oratorio to feature baroque-period instruments. He has also recorded two of Bach’s cantatas for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He currently has seven operatic roles in his repertoire.
He is currently the Organist and Choirmaster for the Anglican Parish of Mount Maunganui. He founded the Chancel Choir of St. Peter’s which sings sacred choral music spanning the Middle Ages to the 21st Century weekly for Choral Eucharist and monthly for Choral Evensong. He is also the Founding Artistic and Musical Director of the Scholars Baroque Aotearoa – a chamber choir dedicated to informed performances of early music with an emphasis on stylistic excellence. With the Scholars Baroque, Chalium has conducted the New Zealand premieres of works by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Michael Haydn to critical acclaim.
As a conductor, Chalium has appeared as a guest conductor of the Tauranga Civic Choir, the Bay of Plenty Sinfonia, Opus Orchestra, and NZBarok.
Chalium has received national accolades and recognition of his commitment and dedication to musical excellence and in particular for his exploration of lesser-known choral works. In 2010, he received a commendation from the French Consulate to New Zealand in gratitude for his efforts in championing the music of the French Baroque.